Discuss the Psychodynamic Model of Abnormality.

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Discuss the psychodynamic model of abnormality. [12 marks] One of the most difficult tasks for those working within the field of psychology is to define abnormality. However, it is possible to try and define abnormality by using a range of models to help us, the psychodynamic model being one of them. It was Freud who developed the concept of the psychodynamic approach. The idea behind this was to use 'talking therapy' to bring past memories from the unconscious to the conscious. The unconscious is when you are doing or thinking something without being alert or aware that you are doing it. Along the idea of the unconscious Freud also developed the concept of the ID, the Ego and the Superego. The id is described as an impulsive, selfish side to our personality which is ruled by a pleasure principle, the superego is the moral part of our personality which recognises right from wrong; and our ego is the part of our mind which tries to rationalise and arbitrate both sides of our thoughts. Freud believed that there were two main causes of abnormality in general. One of these was childhood traumas and the idea that a bad memory from our childhood is so traumatic that it buries itself in our subconscious. This is what is believed to cause problems later on in our adult life. The second cause was the concept that our mind has not learned to rationalise our id and our superego, and that our ego is undergoing unconscious conflict which causes us anxiety, and excessive use of defence mechanisms. Defence mechanisms are powerful, unconscious influences on our behaviour which are used as coping

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